Monday, August 6, 2012

Breaded & Fried Yellow Squash

While a little heavy on the preparation and patience level, these were worth the effort.  They're a tasty fried treat, but the fresh yellow squash still shines through. I just finished Nightwoods by Charles Frazier, the same author who wrote Cold Mountain.  Both stories are set in the Blue Ridge Mountains and my yearning for a life in the country was rekindled.  These little goodies are featured in his story, rolled in corn meal and fried in lard.  Of course they eat them because they're grown in their kitchen garden and have to find some way not to let all that squash go to waste.  They're cooked in lard because it's readily available and a natural cooking product from their area.  I made sure to pick up some squash and grass fed lard at the farmer's market this weekend just so I could cook these.  I mean I was talking about buying grass fed lard like it was a new pair of shoes, I was so excited to try it.

Fried Zucchini Chips with coconut flour and parmesan cheese by the Coconut Mama
GF & Vegan Breaded Zucchini and Fries by Nourishing Flourishing
Low Carb Zucchini Fries using a pork rind/parmesan mix by Fluffy Chix Cook
Parmesan Crusted Fried Zucchini by Joyful Abode
Beef Tallow French Fries and some beginning info on grass fed lard by Cheeseslave

"Breaded" & Fried Yellow Squash

3 medium yellow squash
1/2 small container egg whites
(if you use whole eggs, save the yolks and start with 4 whites, add more as needed)
1/2 - 1 C grass-fed lard, butter or coconut oil
"Breading" mixture:
2 C blanched almond flour
dash of pepper
1/4-1/2  tsp salt
1 T garlic powder

You will need:
small bowl for egg whites
medium to large bowl for "Breading" mixture
a medium container to place the breaded squash in before frying
cast iron skillet
flat metal spatula
a plate lined with paper towels

1. Prepare the squash:
cut off the ends and slice the yellow squash about 1/4" thick on an angle
lay out slices on paper towels and sprinkle with salt
water will start to bead on top of the squash, dab this off with a dry paper towel, repeat as necessary

2. Preheat the oil:
Cast iron skillets retain heat very well.  It's important to preheat them slow and low.  So place your desired fat in the skillet heated on low and allow to heat up.  You could turn the heat up a little if needed, but you want the pieces to sizzle as you place them in and stay light brown as they cook.

3. Prepare the "Breading" mixture:
Mix the blanched almond flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder in the bowl.  Taste and adjust seasonings, or have fun and add some different herbs and spices.  Make more breading mixture as needed.

4. "Bread" the squash:
Make sure the squash slices are dry.  First dip into the egg whites, or put a few slices into the bowl and take one out at a time.  Then place in the "breading" and sprinkle and pat on until there is an even, thin coating.  If it gets too thick, gently wipe off with a dry finger.  Place in the container to wait for frying. Do this in three batches so that you can continue breading the rest while some are frying.

5.  Frying:
Test the oil with one prepared squash slice.  If it gently sizzles, you are good to go.  Using thongs, place  6-8 slices in the pan and fry a couple of minutes.  You don't want to scoot them around because the breading will fall off and they won't get a nice brown color.  When ready to flip, use a thin metal spatula.  Cook another couple of minutes and use the spatula to remove and place the finished pieces on the paper towel lined plate.  This is your first batch, if it's too light, let the pieces cook longer next time. If it's too dark, reduce the heat a little and try again.

Let cool just a minute and then EAT!

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